In the pilot, protagonist Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) comes unglued and is packed off to rehab.White himself suffered a nervous breakdown as a showrunner on his 2004 Fox comedy Cracking Up.Maybe I want to problematize it, because being different forces you to be free of conventional expectations.” White unleashed himself at Wesleyan University, which provided “culture and sophisticated Jewish kids from New York,” he says dreamily. They had to drag me out of there.” Ironically, his first writing job upon returning to L. was “a stupid college-party movie, Dead Man on Campus, and early on the director said, ‘I don’t want you on the set.’ ” Henceforth, White wrote scripts with characters he could play.
VOLLMER: Could you tell me a little bit about how this show came to be?
The characters’ consummation is consummate: Fumblingly shy, White appears in a doorway stripped down to tighty-whities.
“I didn’t want to be in my underwear,” he says, “but after seeing Lena Dunham’s nooks and crannies, I had to put it out there.” But Enlightened is more autobiographical than graphic.
After writing for Dawson’s Creek and Freaks and Geeks, he helped broaden then-neighbor Jack Black’s blunderbuss appeal with the scripts for School of Rock and Nacho Libre.
White had a Sundance hit in the dark 2000 comedy Chuck and Buck, in which he played, as he puts it, a “lost, gay predator retard.” People walked out of the first screening, and he left the theater thinking he was going to vomit, but the experience emboldened him. ” Consider the evidence: White is the son of Lyla, former executive director at the Pasadena Playhouse, and Mel, a preacher and past ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.